Weekly Teachings 17/07/2011

Quotes about the Mantra in the Eastern and Western Tradition of Christianity

“The mind should unceasingly cling to the mantra until strengthened by continual use of it, it casts off and rejects the rich and ample matter of all kinds of thought and restricts itself to the poverty of the single verse.

Those who realize this poverty arrive with ease at the first of the Beatitudes; `Blessed are they who are poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven'.”
(John Cassian Conference X)

“Use this little word and pray not in many words but in a little word of one syllable. Fix this word fast to your heart so that it is always there come what may. With this word, you will suppress all thoughts.”
(The Cloud of Unknowing - Chapter 7)

“The continuous interior Prayer of Jesus is an constant uninterrupted calling upon the divine Name of Jesus with the lips, in the spirit, in the heart. One who accustoms himself to this appeal experiences as a result so deep a consolation and so great a need to offer the prayer always, that he can no longer live without it, and it will continue to voice itself within him of its own accord.”
(The Way of the Pilgrim)

“May the memory of Jesus be united to your breathing, and then shall you know the usefulness of silence.”
(St. John of the Ladder)

“The very best thing one can ever do is to fix Jesus in one's heart and never want anything else.”
(Richard Rolle - Fire of Love)

“It is almost impossible for people starting to believe that there could be anything very significant in sitting still, closing your eyes lightly and just begin reciting a word. You have to take that on faith when you begin. I first started to meditate like this about thirty years ago. I suppose that I was as crass as anyone of my age because I was always saying to the man who taught me: `how long is this going to take? I can't sit around here saying this word forever, you know.' He would look at me with a rather pained look, and either he would just look straight through me or else he would say, `Say your mantra'. Thirty years later, I am still astonished at the wisdom of that teaching. As I say, you have to take it on faith when you begin. Nothing I can say will be very significant for you in comparison with the persuasive power of your own experience. You will enter into clearer and clearer simplicity.”
(John Main)

“Father John Main always insisted that this is a very simple, humble way. `Quietly repeating your word,' he says, `keeps the ego in its place and should lead you to the transcendent.' But unless the mantra is accompanied by faith and love, it has no real value; it would be merely a mechanism. It is a real danger to trust the mechanism of the mantra, but as an expression of faith and love it becomes a very powerful means to direct your faith and to open you to God.”
(Bede Griffiths )

For further help with setting up and leading groups, please look at the ‘Christian Meditation Groups’ Website in English, Spanish and French, based on the book ‘A Pearl of Great Price’ by Laurence Freeman